China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) will take the place of French Total in the development of Iran’s South Pars natural gas project, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced on Sunday.
The French Total company had signed a $4.9 billion contract to develop the super giant South Pars (Phase 11) gas field.
The company's exit from the project comes after U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement in early May of the U.S.' withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known, commonly as the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and several other nations.
The move was widely expected, and the White House immediately prepared to sanction Iran and companies that do business in Iran.
Total indicated it had no choice but to exit the project after Trump's announcement.
According to Iranian government news agency, ICANA, Zanganeh said that negotiations are ongoing with CNPC as to the timing of the project.
By Gulsen Cagatay